Newman, Patricia Sea Otter Heroes : The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem, 56 pgs., NON-FICTION. Millbrook Press (Lerner Publications) 2017. $31.99. Content: G.
Elkhorn Slough, just off the coast of California has been nutrient polluted by the surrounding farms. Too much nutrients usually causes the algae growing on the sea grass to overpower the ability to thrive and the sea grass dies, causing lots of problems to the environment. But not here, why? That’s what marine bIologist Brent Hughes is trying to figure out. Turns out, the wild sea otter population (at the top of the food chain) eats the crabs that eat the snails that eat the algae. Without the sea otters, too many snails get eaten by the crabs and the sea grass dies. Top predators have a huge impact on the environment.
Featuring an extremely cute sea otter on the cover, this upper elementary read documents the biologists process, describes the problem and lets the reader see for themselves the results. There’s even a “do it yourself ecosystem mini experiment” at the back of the book for budding environmentalists (involving spiders and crickets and grasshoppers). A superb example of the scientific process in action. Pages are full of captioned photographs, sidebars, charts, and graphs. Also includes tips to protect the environment, source notes, index, a glossary and bibliography, plus a list of books and website sources to find out more. Lerner Publishing has also included a valuable website with free educational resources that can easily be used in the classroom.
EL, MS - ADVISABLE Lisa Librarian